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It's just now dawning on me


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My husband, who has been great, has decided to take a more active role and is now reading up on everything he can get his hands on to "help us better manage my bipolar". On the one hand, this is really great news.... for me, for him, and for our relationship. On the other hand, this has made it sink in that I HAVE BIPOLAR DISORDER.

I've been diagnosed for quite a while, known for even longer that something was really screwed up in my head. I've been to the shrinks, read all the books, tried bunches of medications, finally been stabilized for a while on a good regimen, and am finally even figuring out some of my bad triggers, etc. But it is just now dawning on me that I have bipolar. It's not going to go away.

I don't want it. I didn't ask for it. I'm not getting rid of it. Not now. Not ever. I don't want to be like this. I don't want my husband to have to "help me manage my bipolar". I'm not ever going to be cured. At best, I'm going to be managed. ;) I think I got rooked.

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I think accepting the diagnosis is one of the hardest things. The initial part of actually believing the diagnosis is so common that they have a name for "Lack of insight into illness", and over half of all bipolars go off meds at some time.

I'd say it took me well over a year to a year and a half to get to the point where I wasn't still fighting the idea in my head. I still sort of think that if I would get my life sorted out and back on track, and was just less emotional about things that I wouldn't really need meds to slow me down, keep me up, make me sleep... but I've also proven several times that isn't true. ;)

Scream, rant, throw things...the "forever" thing... yeah.

I guess there are really two consolations...

First, look at how bad your life was before, so miserable and out of control, and how much better it is not being on a rollercoaster every day.

Second, we are going to have better drugs in the coming years that work more precisely and have fewer side effects.

Hope you feel better,

a.m.

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since i was DXed when i was 7, there have been a LOT of times when i've questioned whether or not i'm bipolar or whether i was just a moody child and have been on meds for so long that my real personality has been masked.

this theory has been disproven time and time again when my meds have been changed or i've decided to play with them on my own (i do not think this is a good idea based on experience), and i've gone batshit crazy. i think that i'm even loonier now than ever, speaking without my meds of course. with my meds you'd never guess i have an emotional problem (at least that's what people tell me).

i went through it where i denied to myself that i have bipolar disorder. after all those tries and experiments wtih going off of my meds, i've decided that meds are really the best idea after all! i am bipolar, just like my parents and sister. no denying that.

it is hard to get others to accept it too, huh? it is like getting others to accept some kind of terminal illness. i think it is the stigma of mental illness that makes people not want to believe that it is happening to someone they love and know.

since i was DXed when i was 7, there have been a LOT of times when i've questioned whether or not i'm bipolar or whether i was just a moody child and have been on meds for so long that my real personality has been masked.

this theory has been disproven time and time again when my meds have been changed or i've decided to play with them on my own (i do not think this is a good idea based on experience), and i've gone batshit crazy. i think that i'm even loonier now than ever, speaking without my meds of course. with my meds you'd never guess i have an emotional problem (at least that's what people tell me).

i went through it where i denied to myself that i have bipolar disorder. after all those tries and experiments wtih going off of my meds, i've decided that meds are really the best idea after all! i am bipolar, just like my parents and sister. no denying that.

it is hard to get others to accept it too, huh? it is like getting others to accept some kind of terminal illness. i think it is the stigma of mental illness that makes people not want to believe that it is happening to someone they love and know.

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Nobody wants to be told they have a condition that is not curable and that they will have to tend to the rest of their lives. My husband sure didn't like being diagnosed with bipolar. It took him over 20 years from his initial diagnosis to accept and properly treat his bp.

It is encouraging that your husband is doing his homework.

He just has to remember that the ultimate responsibility for your treatment lies with you. He can't fix you no matter how much he loves you or how much he tries. But being educated will help him understand.

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GREAT that he is interested and supportive--but me, the eternal pessimist, wonders if maybe he figures putting all the emphasis on YOU and your craziness will keep you from noticing that he has a few neuroses of his own??

I HATE the idea that I wil always be tied to these fucking medications. I mean, my back got screwedup, and it took a long time, but it got fixed and that was that. I also have Crohn's, another life-long, debilitating stupid disease--feel like I got a double whammy.

I am better about it now, not so hesitant to discuss it, especially since I realized by "sister/best friend" was SUPER, off the wall BP1 with these huge manias and HUGE depressions. So I had to come clean so I could talk her into believing that therapy and medication could make her life a lot more bearable. Which it has.

But I digress--just hang in there, and be thankful you have a husband who doesn't believe you should be locked up in chains in some dark room some where. A little support can go a long way--

Keep in touch--

china

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I knew something was wrong for years and I KNEW both my parents had it but left it untreated but finally in my 30's when I had to sit down and say "This is it. This is me." I cried like a baby for days. What would people think? How would that change my relationships? and a whole bunch of other things. But what I found was that my true friends and family stuck by me and that I was still ME just with brain cooties and that I had just as many special,wonderful things about me as I did darkside,evil ones. (You may not have the evil stuff of course). I had to learn to accept that this me was going to be here for the rest of my life and yes like a lot of Mentally Interesting people I like to think that I'm special and unique. So here's to the new,improved, specially wonderful and unique you. You'll be fine. ;)

Lilie

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Thank you, everyone, for the well wishes and for listening. It helps a lot just knowing that you all are out there.

It is encouraging that your husband is doing his homework.

He just has to remember that the ultimate responsibility for your treatment lies with you. He can't fix you no matter how much he loves you or how much he tries. But being educated will help him understand.

I think my husband is learning how to take things less personally, and how to tell what is coming from the bipolar. I think he is also learning why I do some of the things I do, even if he can't understand it. I think it also takes some of the pressure off him as far as worrying if he did something that pissed me off, etc., when in reality I'm just in a mood for no logical reason. I feel bad for him, because this probably really isn't what he signed up for. LOL.

But what I found was that my true friends and family stuck by me and that I was still ME just with brain cooties and that I had just as many special,wonderful things about me as I did darkside,evil ones. (You may not have the evil stuff of course). I had to learn to accept that this me was going to be here for the rest of my life and yes like a lot of Mentally Interesting people I like to think that I'm special and unique. So here's to the new,improved, specially wonderful and unique you. You'll be fine. ;)

Lilie

Not quite there yet. Still coming to grips with the not-so-charming parts of me, but hopefully I'll get there. Thank you!

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" I feel bad for him, because this probably really isn't what he signed up for. LOL."

I can relate. I didn't sign up for a crazy husband and an autistic son...but that is life. My hubby is a great guy who's brain likes to mess with him on occassion...and my son is a big, lovable goofball, who despite his brand of brain cooties, works very hard to communicate with us as much as he can.

My oldest son is (mostly) normal, and me....well...while I am not "mentally interesting" I know I am not normal. Somehow we make it all work...I have a 20th wedding anniversary in coming up this December ;)

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Oh.

My pdoc and my parents have always been amazed by how well I've accepted my bipolar and how med-compliant I am and so on...

Really thinking about it though, have I ever even realized I am diagnosed with a life long condition?

I don't know.

I don't want to know.

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